spit. And the first explosion, because the police office was
so near Front Street, nearly threw him out of his chair.
" They must-er used enough that shot to blow up the town,"
Miss Lucy Mayhew, chief operator for the telephone com-
pany, lowered her bony, sallow-skinned right hand after
taking the oath, and smoothed the black, lustreless silk of her
dress. The prosecutor asked her questions, and she answered
them in a low but distinct voice, impersonal as though it were
coming over a wire; she did not lift her head when she spoke,
and her hands, now and then, patted and smoothed the silk.
She fixed the very minute when she had first heard a tramp-
ling on the stairs up to the telephone office, for she had just
looked at her clock. It was twelve-thirty o'clock, she said.
Four men came in, bursting in all at once, and they had white
cloths on their faces and pistols in their hands. One of the
girls screamed, she said, but she herself, she stood right up to
them as good as she could. She wanted to know what their
"And what did they say?" the prosecutor demanded.
" They said, Ladies, we hate to bother you, but we just got a
little private business in town, and we don't want anybody to
be making it public.'" She smoothed the silk, and her brow
wrinkled in thought. "At least, that's as good as I can
remember what they said. So we got back from the switch-
"Did they offer you any violence?"
"They waved those pistols some/' she said, "but they
didn't point them at us. One of them—he looked like the
captain or something, because he had a white bandage on
his coat sleeve—he just said for us to come downstairs, and
he took me by the arm. And two of the other men, each one
took one of the girls by the arm, and one of the girls started
pulling back, and he said,' Lady, you better come on down or
you'll miss something bigger'n Christmas.' They took us
downstairs, and the man with me held my arm going down
like any gentleman would a lady's."